Barry Fishman named Arthur F. Thurnau Professor


Barry Fishman, professor of information and professor of education, was named an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor by the University of Michigan Board of Regents at their February 19 meeting.
The Thurnau professorships were created in 1988 to recognize outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. Each year, five or six tenured faculty members are designated Thurnau professors and hold the title for the remainder of their careers at Michigan.

“This is the highest honor awarded by the Regents for undergraduate teaching,” said School of Information Dean Jeffrey MacKie-Mason. “It recognizes not only great teaching, but the positive impact Barry has had on the intellectual development and lives of our students. UMSI cares deeply about our undergrads, and we’re proud and delighted for Barry and this distinction.”

“It is a privilege to get to teach at Michigan,” Fishman said. “Being named a Thurnau Professor is especially meaningful to me because I have learned so much from my students and from my colleagues across the University. Good teaching changes lives, including the teacher’s.”

Between 2006 and 2014, Fishman held a joint appointment as associate professor in the School of Education and the School of Information. In 2014, he was appointed to a full professorship in May and joined the School of Information faculty full time in September.

In 2010, Fishman received the Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize for using collaboration and communication technologies to give large lectures the feel of small seminars utilizing tools such as laptops and cellphones. In 2001, he received the Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies from the American Educational Research Association.

Fishman earned his PhD in education and social policy at Northwestern University in 1996. He came to the University of Michigan School of Education as an assistant professor in 1997 and was promoted to promoted to associate professor in 2004. From 2007-2008, he was a visiting associate professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. He served as an Associate Editor of The Journal of the Learning Sciences, and was a co-author of the Obama Administration’s 2010 National Education Technology Plan. He has been Principal Investigator on grants from the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others.

Fishman and the other Thurnau professors named on Thursday will be recognized at the 92nd Annual Honors Convocation on March 15 in Hill Auditorium.

Posted February 20, 2015